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SF’s Newest Cocktail Bar “Trade Routes” Opens

New “trade-inspired” bar opens on Polk St. w/ cocktails inspired by spices, florals, herbs, exotic fruits
By - posted 6/30/2021 No Comment

Trade Routes, a trade-inspired cocktail bar on Polk St., soft opened on June 18th and celebrates their grand opening on Friday, July 2, 2021.

Trade Routes is Polk St.’s newest cocktail bar by college friends Jay Ryoo and Chen-Chen Huo (MAC’D, A La Couch) that were inspired by the exchanges of ideas and goods from trade routes around the world.

Ilya Romanov (The Dorian, Beehive, Niku Steakhouse) joined the team to craft a cocktail menu filled with ingredients frequently exchanged through trade: spices, florals, herbs, exotic fruits. 

The bar is located at 1750 Polk St. at Washington and just 1 block stumbling distance to Bob’s Donuts. Check out the bar menu (unfortunately. it looks like there isn’t a happy hour yet, but beers start at $6).

Trade Routes had their soft opening on June 18

The Cocktails
The concise cocktail menu ranges from light, colorful, and refreshing in the form of the Saint Elaine, a deep purple gin based highball, to the boozy and complex Marco Polo, a smoky, peated sipper. The headline cocktail, Jesus and Buddha Takes a Stroll, is a two person drink of clarified milk punch served two ways: up with a hibiscus mezcal floater, and over ice with a dash of cinnamon and a flamed cinnamon stick. The cocktail represents the meeting of cultures frequently seen during transcontinental trade, and is a symbol of friendship and respect for similarities and differences.

Bar Design
Jenny Levitsky of
Ultimate Designs transformed the former Cabin space, replacing rows of brown log cabin wood with dark wood paneling and textured peacock blue walls that are intended to create a moody yet relaxed atmosphere. The new large colorful lit map centerpiece is meant to place the bar as the focal point and is surrounded by industrial lights, animal figurines, and low-light loving plants. There is ample bar seating and standing space in the front, with an intimate lounge area in the back with mood lighting and relaxed furniture.

Trade Routes will be offering a limited bar menu from the neighboring wine bar / restaurant, Amelie. Trade Routes does not currently take reservations or cash, and four-legged friends are encouraged.

Trade Routes. Grand Opening Friday July 2nd. 4pm – 2am Fri-Sat, 4pm – 11pm Wed, Thur, and Sun. Closed Mon and Tues. Subject to change. 1750 Polk Street, S.F. traderoutesbar.com, instagram.com/traderoutesbar no reservations, no cash.